The First Course in Astrobiology at Modern College in Pune, India
BMSIS Scientist Dr. Parag Vaishampayan recently coordinated with Dr. Rebecca Thombre of Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Pune, India, to offer the college’s first certificate course in astrobiology.
Ten students from the college took this initial course offering, studying topics related to the origin of life, evolution, space exploration, planetary protection, and the quest to find habitable worlds beyond the Earth. Over 15 days, the students considered the history of Indian space exploration, endeavors in the science of astrobiology from around the world, the known history of life on Earth, what we can learn from meteorites, extreme environments on Earth as analogs for alien worlds, some of the potential places in our solar system for alien life to exist, the biosignatures that may allow us to find life on worlds around other stars, and more!
Dr. Thombre has written of the course, “Finally, education and outreach in astrobiology to empower the next generation of young astrobiologists in India begins…”
The course was the first offering of its kind, with a second offering already in the works with 35 students thus far enrolled.